Violence reported in Bettiah, Siwan LS seats

PTI | ByIndo-Asian News Service, Patna
May 24, 2004 06:32 PM IST

The voter turnout in the 622 booths in Bettiah, Siwan LS seats remained low despite tight security.

The Bettiah and Siwan Lok Sabha constituencies of Bihar witnessing repoll have reported sporadic violence.

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The turnout of voters in the 622 booths involved in the repoll has remained low despite tight security, according to poll officials.

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There have been no reports of firing or bomb blast.

The Election Commission has deployed central paramilitary forces in the booths and is videographing activities in and around the booths.

The commission ordered repoll in 429 booths in Bettiah and 193 in Siwan after it found voting irregularities in the second phase of polling held on April 26.

In Bettiah, Madan Prasad Jaiswal of the Bharatiya Janata Party is pitted against Ragunath Jha of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). Noted filmmaker Prakash Jha is also in the fray as an independent.

RJD strongman Mohammad Sahabuddin seeking re-election for the fourth time from Siwan is facing Om Prakash Yadav of the Janata Dal-United and Amarnath Yadav of the Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist. Shahabuddin is currently lodged in Siwan jail in connection with several criminal cases.

Chapra, where the election was countermanded following rigging and intimidation of voters, will see repoll on May 31.

RJD president Laloo Prasad Yadav, who has taken charge as federal railway minister, is contesting against the BJP's Rajiv Pratap Rudy, who was civil aviation minister in the last central Government.

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